Tuesday, August 2, 2016

#560 - Bill Madlock

What a card: This is Bill Madlock's final card as a Pittsburgh Pirate issued during his career. He was traded to the Dodgers at the end of August 1985.

My observation on the front: I know this won't be popular with people nostalgic for the 1980s, but around this time, the Pirates' old-time pillbox caps were getting a little tired (the team was going through some tough times in the mid-1980s, so that didn't help either). They would last only a couple more years.

More opinion from me: Madlock was a favorite of mine. Before Tony Gwynn came along, he was the National League's answer to Rod Carew. Although a favorite, I didn't want the Dodgers to trade for Madlock because my favorite player, Ron Cey, played the same position. After Cey left, Madlock did appear with the Dodgers. But he didn't have a lot left.

Something you might know: Madlock started his career with a bang in Chicago, leading the National League in hitting in back-to-back years in 1975 and 1976. He'd win two more batting titles (1981, 1983) before his career was over.

Something you might not know: Madlock endured a terrible time in winter ball in the Dominican Republic between the 1973 and 1974 seasons. Playing in a small town and with his wife and kids there, too, he struggled on the field and then found out while he was there that he was traded to the Cubs. He was playing so poorly, the fans started accusing him of throwing games. During one game, he popped up with the bases loaded. The fans let loose, screaming at him and throwing oranges and bottles. As Madlock walked to the dugout, he made an offensive gesture toward the crowd. That infuriated the fans more. Madlock's wife tried to leave the stands, dragging her kids with her, but the fans knew who she was and started throwing objects at her, too. After the fans had left, players arrived to escort her away. Madlock sent his family home soon afterward and he left a few days later.

My observation on the back: The reference to Madlock's 30-plus antique clocks appears to be from a 1982 newspaper article. Not sure how many more he accumulated during his career. Wonder if he still has them?

The blog wants to speak now: The News category is updated.

1 comment:

Dean Family said...

As a long Pirate fan, by 85 the pillbox hats were totally out.